2019 Guest Teachers
Prima Ballerina San Francisco Ballet
Ballet Education Coordinator SFB
Boston Ballet School Principal for North Shore location
Hiland Artistic Director for NDI New Mexico at The Hiland in Albuquerque
Born in Long Beach California and raised in Huntington Beach, Cisneros began studying ballet at the age of 8 in an effort to overcome her profound shyness. Cisneros later received full summer scholarships to the San Francisco Ballet School and the School of American Ballet and upon completing her high school education, she began her apprenticeship with the San Francisco Ballet in 1976. In 1977 she joined the Company under the directorship of Co-Artistic Directors, Lew Christensen and Michael Smuin. Cisneros soon began dancing principal roles, many choreographed for her by Smuin himself. She performed her original roles in national television broadcasts of A Song for Dead Warriors and The Tempest, as well as the title role of Cinderella and noteworthy “live broadcast” from the White House in 1982. Her success continued under San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director, Helgi Tomasson, appointed in 1985. She has danced the leading roles in a diverse repertoire of classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, and La Fille Mal Gardeé. Numerous resident and visiting choreographers have created works for her including Tomasson, Val Caniparoli, James Kudelka, Stanton Welch and Mark Morris. Her contemporary repertoire included works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Jiri Kylian. She has toured the world performing with the Company and as a guest artist.
Cisneros has been featured on the covers of Dance Magazine, Ballet News, and Hispanic Magazine, and received numerous awards for her community activism and artistic achievements. She is held in high regards by the Hispanic community of the Bay Area and serves as role model to many. Cisneros holds honorary doctorate degrees from Mills College and the University of California at Monterey Bay. In May of 1999, Cisneros retired from the San Francisco Ballet with a Gala performance in her honor, and in celebration KQED produced a half hour documentary of her life, entitled Evelyn Cisneros, Moving On.
Following retirement in 1999, Cisneros became the host of KQED’s monthly current events program “Bay Windows”. During this time, Cisneros also became an artistic consultant with San Francisco Ballet, where she hosted and provided content for Family Connection workshops, pre-performance talks, Community Matinees and the Ballet’s popular Casual Friday Program. In November 2001, Cisneros was appointed Ballet Education Coordinator in the San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education. In this capacity, she would host programs, prepare and present content for Community Matinee Performances, movement workshops and discussions for SF Ballet’s popular Family Connections Series, and for Dance Education on Tour. Miss Cisneros was also part of a team of educators training ballet docents involved in the IMPACT program. She prepared study guide content to educate students and teachers about the key elements of ballet, including music and terminology.
Since 2000 Cisneros has taught at summer intensive programs for the The Boston Ballet School in Boston, Kansas City Ballet in Crested Butte Colorado and in Kansas City, City Ballet School in San Diego and a week long intensive in Carmel Ca. Regular teaching engagements include the New York City Ballet Workout at the Bay Club in San Francisco for five years, Smuin Ballet SF, Boston Ballet School and Company, and NDI New Mexico in Albuquerque. She has staged ballets for Val Caniparoli and Michael Smuin for the following ballet companies: Pacific Northwest Ballet, State Theatre Ballet in South Africa, Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds England, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Florida, Kansas City Ballet, Ballet West, and San Francisco Ballet. Cisneros also has taught company class for the following ballet companes: Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, State Theatre Ballet in South Africa, Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds England, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Florida, and the Kansas City Ballet.
Cisneros was Academy Director for Ballet Pacifica in Irvine California for eight months, and served as Ballet Pacifica’s Company Artistic Director, producing the Nutcracker performed at the Barclay Theater for 21 performances. She has also co-authored “Ballet for Dummies” with conductor Scott Speck, which is available at most bookstores and at Amazon.com.
Cisneros choreographed the popular Peter and the Wolf, and Carnival of the Animals, for NDI New Mexico and co-choreographed El Salon Nuevo Mexico with Dr. Stephen Legate to praises for the tribute to Hispanic and New Mexico culture. Cisneros is married to retired principal dancer Stephen Legate, and they have a son and daughter, who are their ultimate accomplishments and joy.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Cooper currently living in San Francisco. However having spent a considerable amount of time growing up in NYC and the Bay Area, he considers himself a native of both coasts. Over his career he danced with two major companies, San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem, with the latter with whom he was a principal dancer with for 9 years. His travels touring with these companies have taken him all over the world.
Mr. Cooper started dancing at the age of five, when he began taking ballet classes at Richard Thomas’ New York School of Ballet. At the age of 13 Mr. Cooper received a full scholarship to train at the San Francisco Ballet School. He soon became a recipient of the Robert Kirby Scholarship, as well as the first to receive the Lew Christensen Scholarship for best male dancer. In 1989, bypassing the obligatory apprentice year, he was made a full company member.
During his time with San Francisco Ballet, Mr. Cooper danced a wide range of the repertoire. During Mr. Cooper’s nine years dancing with Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Principal dancer, he danced leading roles in such ballets as Balanchine’s Apollo, Prodigal Son, Agon, Allegro Brillante and Stars & Stripes; Albrecht in Giselle; Robbins’ Fancy Free; Ashton’s Thais pas de deux; Glenn Tetley’s Sphinx & Dialogues; Smuin’s A Song For Dead Warriors and St. Louis Blues and many others.
Notable guest appearances have included being invited to dance lead in Stars and Stripes for New York City Ballet’s Balanchine Centennial Celebration, playing the part of Apollo in Central Park’s Summer Stage Balanchine Centennial Tribute; Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ashton & Balanchine Gala; in the Miami International Dance Festival, Washington Ballet’s Giselle, Dance Brazil’s Festival in Bahia, Brazil, Rebecca Kelly Ballet’s 25 Anniversary, and with Dances Patrelle he has danced the lead in Mr. Patrelle’s Macbeth, as well as dancing in his “POP” & Ms. Meredith’s “Pair of Jacks pas de deux”; Lexington Ballets Fabric of Dance Galas 2 &3, Ballet Virginia International,Virginia Ballet Theatre, Ballet NY, Configuration Dance, Lexington Ballet and many others.
In March of 2007 Mr. Cooper created his first one act, full-length contemporary ballet for Virginia Ballet Theatre, an homage to the 1960’s spy film genre called, Mr. Evil and The Forever Diamond. Most recently in 2010, Mr. Cooper was invited to choreograph a 37 min. full-length contemporary ballet work called, Universal Residue for Lexington Ballet. In 2011, Mr.Cooper was also invited by new Dance Theatre of Harlem director Virginia Johnson, to be a part of their Harlem Works 2.0 Series, where he danced a new pas de deux choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultre called “Believe”, created on him and former Broadway & ABT great Ashley Tuttle.
Until 2007, Mr. Cooper was also involved in and part creator of a National Outreach Program for kids at risk, called Athletes For Kids (AFK), involving professional dancers and star professional athletes. Although most of his time and attention is now focused on teaching, mentoring & choreographing, Mr. Cooper continues to dance as a freelance dancer on various dance projects and galas nationally and internationally. He also continues to be apart of the Lines Ballet School teaching staff & New York City Dance Alliance. Currently he is also co-creator & Director of a new national summer program called Modas Dance Summer Program.
Former Upper School Principal at Texas Ballet Theater
Current Director of Education at Orlando Ballet
Charmaine Hunter began her formal dance training at the Hartford Ballet School under the leadership of then Artistic Director Michael Uthoff. Charmaine then moved to New York City to work with the Dance Theatre of Harlem while studying under teachers such as Karel Shook, Frederick Franklin, Suzanne Farrell, Tanaquil LeClerque, Carmen DeLavellade, Mary Hinkson, Alvin Ailey, and William Griffith just to name a few.
She rose through the ranks quickly from corp-de-ballet eventually becoming one of the company’s leading ballerinas and finally as the company’s Ballet Mistress.
She electrified audiences with her performances in a broad spectrum of roles. She is best known for her role as The Firebird choreographed by John Taras (Ballet Master with American Ballet Theater) and Medea, choreographed by Michael Smuin (former Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet). Additional ballets include Fall River Legend by Agnes De Mille, Billie The Kid, Le Biche, Voluntaries by Glen Tetley, and a long list of Balanchine ballets just to name a few.
Most recently, Ms. Hunter has accepted a position with the Orlando Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Robert Hill and Director of School Deirdre Miles Burger. She will serve as the organization’s Director of Education where she will coordinate and oversee all arts in education and outreach programs affiliated with the organization.
Orlando Ballet Principal Teacher and Former English National Ballet Principal Dancer
Olivier Muñoz is the new Principal and Artistic Director of the Maryland Youth Ballet School. Prior, he was the Principal Teacher at Orlando Ballet School for 14 year. Mr. Muñoz began his studies at the National Conservatory of Dance of Lyon France. He then went to the International Ballet School of Rosella Hightower in Cannes. A Laureate of the Prix de Lausanne, he has performed internationally all the leading roles of the classical repertoire. He was a former Principal of the English National Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, Northern Ballet Theater, Principal Guest Artist with Teatro Alla Scala, Tokyo Ballet, The Bolshoi, Ballet Philippines, and Ballet Nuevo Mundo.
He is a certified Professor of Dance from the French Ministry of Culture in France, and also an ABT affiliate teacher, certified in all levels of the ABT Curriculum.
He has served on the panel of the National Foundation for the Advancements in The Arts, Selection Committee for Grants for the Dance department.
Mr. Munoz was also involved with several movies, Blue Suede Shoes for PBS 1998, Drew Carey Show in 1997 and Love in 4 acts for PBS in 1995.
He choreographed for Cleveland Ballet, Orlando Ballet School, Geoffrey Beene fashion show, and Orlando Symphony.
Mr. Muñoz has been a recognized coach for YAGP since 2011 awarded Best Teacher several times. He is a renowned International Guest Master Teacher. For several years now he served on the panel of judges for YAGP regional and international competitions. From there he selects students to award them with scholarships to study.
Houston Ballet Principal Dancer
Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Connor Walsh began his training at the age of seven under the direction of his mother Constance Walsh. He has trained at The Kirov Academy of Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, and Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, where he was awarded the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation Scholarship and the Ben Stevenson Scholarship award. In 2004, he won the first annual gold award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA), and was given the Award of Encouragement at the Shanghai International Ballet Competition.
In 2004, Walsh joined Houston Ballet’s company as a member of the corps de ballet. He was quickly promoted to soloist in 2006 and then to principal dancer in 2007.
Walsh has originated lead roles in Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker (The Prince), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Giselle (Albrecht), Marie (Count Axel von Fersen), and La Bayadare (Solor).
He has danced major roles in numerous full-length ballets including John Cranko’s Onegin (Lensky) and The Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio), Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon (Des Greuix) and Mayerling (Prince Rudolf), John Nuemier’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal Gardee (Colas), Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow (Camille), Ben Stevenson’s Don Quixote (Basilio), The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund), and Dracula (Fredrick), David Bintley’s Aladdin (Aladdin) and The Tempest (Ferdinand), Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan (Merman), and Stanton Welch’s Swan Lake (Siegfried), Marie (Count Axel Fersen and King Louis XVI), Madame Butterfly (Pinkerton), La Sylphide (James), and Cinderella (The Prince and Dandini),
Walsh’s repertory also includes works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Justin Peck, Alexander Eckman, Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp, Hans Van Manen, Glen Tetley, Christopher Bruce, Anthony Tudor, Nacho Duato and Serge Lifar, Melissa Barak. One act creations include Stanton Welch, Azsure Barton, Edward Liang, Mark Morris, James Kudelka, Nicolo Fonte, Melissa Hough, and Garrett Smith among others.
In recent years Walsh has expanded his reach into teaching, coaching and choreographing. In 2015, along with fellow Houston Ballet company members Oliver Halkowich and Melody Walsh, Walsh founded REACH – a choreographic project that raises money for arts education in schools. Following the success of REACH, Walsh and his colleagues were invited to create a world premiere, entitled What we keep¸ for Houston Ballet in spring of 2018.
Guest teaching staff will also include Professors of Dance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Kansas City Ballet Artistic staff
Devon Carney, Artistic Director
Kristi Capps, Ballet Master
Parrish Maynard, Ballet Master
Kansas City Ballet School Faculty
Grace Holmes, School Director
Kimberly Cowen, Principal & KCYB Director
Racheal Nye, Principal & YAGP Coordinator
Dmitry Trubchanov, Men’s Program Coordinator